Higher Education’s Mobile Moment

Carnegie Higher Ed Jan 19, 2016 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

Something big happened in 2015.
You knew it was coming.
And it did.

Google reported that mobile education search volume beat desktop searches for the first time on May 5, 2015. Affectionately known as the “Mobile Moment.”

The big question: how does this impact your recruitment marketing efforts? First, we need to recognize that, without question, it does. The odds of prospective students researching your school via their mobile device have increased and will continue to do so. Top priority is making sure their experience on your pages is pleasant. Pinch + squeeze = bounce.

Here is my checklist of to-do’s to make sure your institution is mobile ready for 2016 and beyond.

1. Mobile optimize your site (if it isn’t already). The fight is sometimes hard, and you need viable support from many campus stakeholders. Here are some stats direct from Google to arm yourself with to make mobile a top priority for everyone on campus:

  • Optimized vs. non-optimized .edu mobile sites, per person:
       7x more time on site
       5x more visits
       2x more page views
  • 9 in 10 students start their college research journey without knowing which school they want to attend. With that in mind, 47% of prospects are researching on their smartphones and 1 in 4 would prefer to research on mobile. This will grow.
  • Mobile-optimized sites are appreciated by Google and ranked higher in organic search results.

Safety net: if you still can’t get your site fully optimized, start small and ensure that at least your marketing landing pages are all set.

2. Mobile ads need to be part of your inventory. As digital display marketing for higher education grows and gets more savvy and targeted, it’s important that mobile-sized ads are a part of your rotation. If this isn’t a part of your recommended campaign, question and rethink your strategy. It’s critical. Your mobile ad engagement will be greater than desktop, so don’t miss out.

3. Social media. It’s in the palm of their hand. All. The. Time. Be thoughtful and thorough about your social media marketing strategy. Paid social media campaign opportunities have blossomed recently, and targeting, cost, and impact have all changed for the better in recent months. Target your lists in feed, build a lookalike audience, be multi-platform. Just be there. (Here’s a great read on Instagram’s growing impact.)

Mobile strategy is all the buzz, but it’s manageable. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, let us know. We’re happy to chat and share ideas and information to help get you and your marketing efforts ready for the AMM (After Mobile Moment).

You can follow me on Twitter, @meghdale.

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